Re: Bad 1/4" cable?
Run your fingers along the cord, look for any "kinks" in it.
If you're getting noise from your amp, I'd check the inputs on the amp and your guitar first (are they loose at all), then borrow a chord and a guitar from a mate, try both of them out, and then try just the chord with your guitar.
If you find the problem really is in the cable, check out the connections on either end, you can probably open them up to see if there's any problems. If there are any kinks in the cable, you might consider cutting the cable on either side of the kink, and putting a connection on to the two loose ends. You'll now have 2 guitar cables and one little kinky bit that you can throw out.
If you're lucky you'll end up with at least one decent length guitar cable out of it. If not then you can always buy a new one, they're not that expensive, and I'd suggest Planet Waves as a brand of some repute (but also on the more expensive end of the range).
Check your guitar and amp out first. If it's either of them, and you don't really know what you're doing, a shop will is the best choice for finding someone to check it out.
Wishing I was Stanton Moore...